The Lucky 13: Nic Graver, guitarist and vocalist for Night Rooms

Night Rooms, based in Reno, serves up dreamy jangle pop with psychedelic lead guitar, and bass and drum grooves. Their music can range from surfy, to punk, to chill—and back again. Their most recent release was a live EP, Live ’22 (recorded at Cypress Reno), featuring some harder rock tones and more aggressive vocals. For more info on Night Rooms, visit The band has gone through a number of lineup changes and styles, yet guitarist and vocalist Nic Graver has always remained.

What was the first concert you attended?

My dad took us to see The Who at the (Reno) Events Center when I was pretty young. Those were some of the first chord progressions I learned on guitar.

What was the first album you owned?

The first record I had was pretty randomly The Raw and the Cooked by Fine Young Cannibals. For CDs, the first one I was obsessed with, in sixth grade, was Move Along by All-American Rejects.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I listen to Jerry Paper every day. I love how cohesive their albums are, and I have no skips on any of them. I’ve also been listening to lots of Goose live sets. I’ve also been playing constant Ovlov, Stove, and Stuck, which are all fairly recent discoveries for me.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

It’s very specific, but lately, I’ve been critical of lyrics that are too direct with their references to other bands or eras. There is a way to write a new song with Grateful Dead-type lyrics without just saying, “and then we listened to the Grateful Dead.”

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would love to see my favorite jazz guitarist, Jack Wilkins, with his trio in their prime. Most people discover him the way I did, through the sampling of his recording of “Red Clay” for beats, but that whole album is slept on.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

There’s this 1960 album called Folk Songs for the 21st Century by Sheldon Allman—big band arrangements with some Western flare, with lyrics all about sci-fi happenings as they were imagined back then. It’s very interesting and creative music to me, but it is weird as hell, and I don’t share it with anyone.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Holland Project has played such a major role in Reno and in so many Reno musicians’ lives that it’s hard to pick anywhere else. To have seen some of my favorite bands there in an intimate setting is really special. Touring bands always tell me how much they love playing Holland compared to loud, uninterested bars.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

The entirety of Life Is Delicious by Tummy+.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Fleet Foxes. Their music has a completely unique feeling, and Robin Pecknold’s lyrics just may be my all-time favorite. It changed my life to hear something so distinct from everything else I was hearing, and that sounded in some ways eternal and ancient, and in others very contemporary.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I’m asking Frank Ocean what his next plans are.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Night on Earth” by Jerkcurb, but this question has got me thinking a lot. I definitely recognize a certain feeling in a song of, “Play this at my funeral.” I have a playlist just called “that feeling” that I couldn’t pin down at the time, but now it feels like any song on that playlist would fit this.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

The House by Porches, but if you asked me for the greatest album, I would say To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Montezuma” by Fleet Foxes. It will make you wonder what song should play at your funeral.